Why we Celebrate the Winter Solstice
On a technical level, the winter solstice on December 21st marks the start of the metrological winter and the time when the North Pole is most tilted away from the sun, but what is the spiritual meaning of this time of year? One way to think about it, is celebrating the return of the light as the days start to become longer.
The actual moment of the solstice in 2022 will occur at 9.48pm GMT in the UK, but most people concentrate on the whole solstice day, which has been recognised by holidays and festivals in many cultures all over the world.
The shortest day lasts 7 hours 49 minutes and 42 seconds in London. This means that the length of day during the winter solstice is 8 hours, 49 minutes shorter than the summer solstice.
What is the history of the Solstice?
The pre-Christain festival, the Fest of Juul is one of the earliest festivals that we can trace back to show us some Christmas traditions. Such as the Yule log which was started from lighting fires on the longest night to symbolise the returning of the light and sun.
When you think about it, you can see the symbolism of the solstice woven into many other celebrations around December whether Christian or Pagan. So here are some more spiritual ways to reclaim the season. Some may seem to be very Christmassy, but maybe we are still showing the true origins of Christmas ....
Send Love to All
This year spreading love to all around you has never been more important. When you can't meet with friends, family and colleagues, you can still spread love in so many ways. Send cards or give gifts to show people your feelings, maybe widen your audience to spread the cheer further. Pick up the phone, send a message or arrange a video call, let people know how loved they are. There are so many ways to spread the love at this time of year, even when we can't be face to face with people.
Celebrate the Season
Commemorate the Yule season with a series of rituals and feasts. Something that we do for Christmas each year. Obviously, this will be different this year, but we can still honour the season with delicious feasts. In a normal year we would be celebrating with office parties from now, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve and all that comes between. Exchanging gifts and connecting with people physically, spiritually and virtually are great ways to honour the passing of the year. Even if it is smaller don't let the season pass without preparing a celebratory meal.
Adorn your Home
Not just for Christmas decorations, but you could welcome the solstice in Druidic colours of red, green and white. Holly, ivy, pine cones and evergreen boughs are a beautiful and natural way to adorn your home. If your Christmas tree is a living one, celebrate it as a solstice tree and incorporate some pagan decorations too.
Celebrate the Mother and Father of the Season
Does Santa embody the characteristics of the Roman god Saturn, Cronos - Father Time, Grandfather Frost, Thor and Odin? All of these pagan gods can be compared to Santa, so in honouring him in this season you are honouring the pagan gods also. You can also honour the Godess as the Great Mother with a sun child, welcoming the sun back to your lives.
Bring Light into Your Home
By adorning the inside and the outside of your home with light in whatever form works for you, you are celebrating the lengthening of the days and the new year. You could also burn a Yule log as a spiritual offering and awakening of the New Year to come.
Spread your good will and charity to all around you. Contribute to charitable causes or maybe volunteer your time, if appropriate. Consider the animals too, make sure your garden birds are well fed and all the pets in your life are healthy and happy.
At the end of this difficult year and as we face a very different Christmas, why not let the light into your home and start to welcome 2023. Be kind and spread love wherever you can.
If you are unsure what 2023 holds for you, or are looking for ways to recover from this awful year, why not call one of our phone tarot readers who are here to help you to find the answers that you need.